Cost of Living in Australia: School Fees

In a previous post where I discussed cost of living comparisons, I promised (rather foolishly I think) to try to unravel school fee variations from state to state. I am often saying what a big country Australia is, perhaps I should bear that in mind when I make such rash promises!

The BobinOz rough guide to school fees in Australia.

First, let me make it clear that these are the fees that apply to Australian citizens and permanent residents. If you are here on a temporary visa then different fees may apply or you might get a grant.

The three main types of school:

  • Public (state) – run by and funded by government.
  • Private – run privately but subsidised by the government.
  • Catholic – run by Catholics and also subsidised by government.

schoolsPublic schools.

The Australian Government has an obligation to provide state education via public schools to all children in Australia. Each public school has an obligation to accept all of the children within its catchment area. If they don’t have enough room, they must find some. If they don’t have enough teachers, they must hire some more.

All public education in Australia is free, but there is confusion because each school can charge a “Voluntary Contributions” and these seem to range from $60 per annum to as much as $1,000.

Interestingly, the $1000 figure came from a news article entitled “anger over school fees” from the Herald Sun and was about schools in the state of Victoria. Victoria is where Vivienne was talking about when she mentioned high public school fees in Australia in her open email to me.

So what happens if you don’t pay these voluntary contributions? I spoke to somebody who didn’t pay and they told me they got bombarded with reminders constantly, but that ultimately nothing specifically happened. But she only missed the payment for one year, she couldn’t handle the pressure!

I’m sure each school deals with it differently, some may prevent your child from taking music lessons or sport for example and no doubt if too many people don’t pay, the voluntary contributions fees would go up for those that do. I’m sure they will get their money from somewhere.

If you want to know some of the alleged tricks schools get up to to ensure these voluntary contributions are paid, then check out the above mentioned article over at the Herald Sun.

In addition to the voluntary contributions, parents will also have to pay for stationery, books, school uniform, sports equipment, musical instruments, school trips and any other items needed that are relevant to their studies.

About two thirds of Australian children go to public (state) schools.

Private schools.

If you want to send your child to a private school, you’re better off doing it here in Australia than you are back in England. That’s because, if I’m not mistaken, if you choose private education in England the government says “thank you very much” and pockets the money it saved by you choosing not to send your child to one of the government run schools.

Here in Australia, the government realise that your decision to go private is saving them money, so they effectively subsidise your payments by paying a grant to all private schools who in turn can reflect that in their fees to students.

So how much is private education? This is where it could get messy but I have found a way to make this real simple…………

Between $800 and $29,000 a year.

Want to try and guess where you need to go to spend $29,000 a year on education? Yes, you’ve got it. Victoria! Geelong Grammar apparently.

So as you can see, fees vary wildly. But generally speaking, the older your child the more expensive it gets. Typically the fees are in these bands:

  • Prep to year 6.
  • Years 7 to 9.
  • Years 10 to 12.

Furthermore, good discounts are available for sending more of your children, if you have them, to the same school. Some payments are tax deductible as well.

Catholic schools.

Catholic schools are funded in the same way as private schools in as much as they charge a fee to their students and they receive a government grant. But it appears that Catholic schools are substantially cheaper on average than private schools.

Expect to pay between $600 and $3000 a year.

According to the government, they pump $22.7 billion of public funding into state education (2.2m students) and a further $7.6 billion into private (independent and Catholic) schools (1.1m students).

School fees rough summary: as at 2009

  • Public (state) schools: $60-$1000 a year. Average $150
  • Private schools: $800 to $29,000 a year. Average $6,300
  • Catholic schools: $600 to $3000 a year. Average $1,200

Plus the cost of uniforms, books and other stuff as previously mentioned. The average figures quoted are purely a BobinOz guess. I don’t think they’d be far out, but then I wouldn’t, would I?

Education costs in England.

Over in the UK, public (state) education is completely free, providing that hasn’t changed since I went to school.

Average private school costs are around £11,000 a year and Britain’s most expensive private school is Eton at £24,000 a year.

You could argue that private schools in the UK are more “elite” than they are here in Australia. After all only 7% of UK children attend private schools compared with over 30% here.

You could also argue that the quality of education in some of the UK’s state schools is equal to the education that some Australians pay for here privately. If that argument could be proved, then without a doubt the UK would win this cost comparison on the price of education. But until anybody can prove that……..

Who wins?

Public (state) schools here in Australia are more expensive than they are in the UK. But not by a lot. (Unless you go to Victoria). Once you’ve bought all the extra stuff, like the school uniform, stationery, sports kit etc, I’d like to wager Australian public schools can’t be anything much higher than 30% more expensive than the UK’s schools.

But private schools are cheaper here than in England. Quite a bit cheaper. In fact, at the least 50% cheaper, possibly as much as 70% cheaper when you compare the average £11,000 a year (that’s nearly $20,000) with the average of $6,300 here.

So, dare I award this category, the cost of education between England and Australia compared, to Australia?

No! But I’m calling it a draw.


Don’t be too afraid of the cost of schooling here in Australia, it’s not that bad. And you do have the choice, you can pretty well spent as much or as little as you want.

Lesson 2:

I am pleased to announce that our teacher has returned to give us a second lesson, this one is called State School Fees for Temporary Visa Holders in Australia.

If you are coming here on a temporary 457 visa, you really must read it.

Update 2016

Obviously school fees change each year and this article is now a little out of date. Finding up-to-date information is incredibly difficult as many schools do not publish their fees online. Also, not only do fees vary from school to school, they can also change from grade to grade.

A Year 7 student will not pay as much as a Year 12 student.

During the last year we have been looking at high schools for our daughter Elizabeth here in the Brisbane area. For what it’s worth, the school fees we were quoted were:

  • Catholic School 1 = $7000 per year
  • Catholic School 2 = $12,000 per year
  • Independent Private School = $15,000 per year
  • Additionally, the above-mentioned Geelong Grammar now charges around $35,000 per year

These fees are not averages, they are specific fees quoted by four different schools. Any of you seriously looking at private education in Australia would be advised to get the up-to-date school fees directly from any individual school you might be interested in.

Those of you looking at those Catholic school fees will be thinking they have risen massively; I’m not sure that’s the case. Maybe the two Catholic schools we looked at were unusually expensive. My understanding is that you can still get a Catholic private school education for much less, I have certainly seen plenty of Catholic schools quoting fees of between $1000 and $3000 per year.

Visa Assessment Service
{ 170 comments… add one }
  • Sitaram March 18, 2016, 3:27 am |

    Hi ,
    This is Sitaram from Bangalore, India. I would like to get admission for my grand children for class 11 (grand daughter) and class 7 (grand son) . My son is just placed in waymouth street wipro technologies, Adelaide, SA 5000. Kindly guide us to get the information about the admission for my grand children in the same school and the accomodation as well.

  • Sitaram March 18, 2016, 3:21 am |

    Hi ,
    This is Sitaram from Bangalore, India. I would like to get admission for my grand children for class 11 (grand daughter) and class 7 (grand son) . My son is just placed in waymouth street wipro technologies. Kindly guide us to get the information about the admission for my grand children in the same school and the accomodation as well.

    • Sitaram March 18, 2016, 3:26 am |


      Let me know about the school and accomodation near by waymouth street, Adelaide.


      • BobinOz March 19, 2016, 12:04 am |

        Thank you for asking the same question three times, once would have done though. I suggest you talk to the school directly about admission fees, they will be able to guide you.

        To research accommodation in the area, please see my page about the Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia

  • Maggie March 14, 2016, 5:02 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for sharing such useful info. : )
    It would be great if there’s updated data for 2016.

    Have a good day. : )

    • BobinOz March 14, 2016, 6:55 pm |

      Fair point Maggie, I have added an update, of sorts, to the foot of the above article. I will see if I can do a more comprehensive update in the near future. Thanks, Bob

  • Tokunbo adams February 10, 2016, 9:27 pm |

    I would like to move to Australia with my family as a skilled worker. I am a banker. Kindly advice

    • BobinOz February 11, 2016, 5:12 pm |

      I advise that you read some relevant pages from my list that you will find on my Migration Advice page.

  • Senath February 9, 2016, 2:42 pm |


    If my son is willing to study in australia for upper secondary in private school. Who’s gonna take the responsibility of my son. Will his parents get visa to stay with him in australia???

    • BobinOz February 9, 2016, 9:17 pm |

      Well, if you don’t know the answer to the first question, I certainly don’t. For the second question, that depends whether the parents qualify for a visa. I think you need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your situation.

  • Gift January 17, 2016, 6:45 am |

    Am aNigerian ,how do I get a valid visa,I want to move my family to Australia .

  • Radha November 18, 2015, 12:59 am |

    We r planning to move Australia in sep 2016,my son is studying 7th standard in India now. Can u pl suggest good Indian school for him.

  • Irene A November 14, 2015, 8:25 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I am just wondering whether these school fees also apply to kiwis (arrive on Special Category Visa – SCV)?

    • BobinOz November 27, 2015, 6:39 pm |

      Sorry Irene, but I just don’t know. I think you would need to contact the local governments education department and ask them about this. Good luck, Bob

    • jasin March 7, 2016, 3:48 pm |

      Nope Irene kiwi children get same rights as the locals , although Melbourne has revoked the 50 cent fair for kiwi kids on trains an buses.

  • Venu Madhav November 9, 2015, 7:31 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I am planning to move to Burwood, Melbourne in March of 2016, My daughter will be 4-year-old by December of this year, can I please get some input from your side regarding what would be the cost for daycare or for childcare centers, if any near Burwood, and also how much income would be sufficed to earn for me along with my wife and daughter over while I live in Melbourne.

    Thank you,


    • Venu Madhav November 9, 2015, 7:33 pm |

      Also I forgot to mention mate, I will be coming on a student visa ……

    • hema December 10, 2015, 6:47 pm |

      Hi we are planning to migrate to Papua new guinea on business visas at present we are in south Mumbai in India son is 5 year old …i read ur all husband will earn in between 50000 aus $ to 75000$ a month…i m looking out for good school for my son in Australia.if I want him to study in city can put him in hostel.b coz I feel Papua new guinea is small place though I hav not visited yet…so will u plz help me for all three types of school & hostel fees & what are the criteria to get in to good school..we both are graduate & we are in to business..

      • BobinOz December 10, 2015, 11:39 pm |

        I really don’t think your husband will be earning that kind of money each month, I think you probably mean each year? 🙂

        I can’t help you with those school fees, they vary from school to school, you will have to contact each one separately to find out what they charge. This page may well help you: Which school?

  • Judith July 26, 2015, 11:35 am |

    Hey Bob this is, I am a 28 years old I work whole of my life as a office clerk and I found out that I still want to continue studying either accountancy course did you think is there have an accounting course to your public school? Please advise tnx u so much.

    • BobinOz July 26, 2015, 11:53 pm |

      I don’t know personally but my student expert might be able to help you, see my page about Student Visas. Good luck, Bob

  • Laura July 6, 2015, 11:30 pm |

    Hi Bob

    My family and I (my husband Rob and our 3 and 1/2 year old son, Noah) are currently waiting on a decision on our PR application. This is due to come through in the next 5 weeks or so. by the time we actually get out there if we get approved, its looking like it will be September.

    In view of this, I have 2 questions for you please:
    1 – Will my son be eligible for Kindy or will he have to go to Day care? (his 4th Birthday is in January)
    2 – What are the costs for Kindy in Perth? Do they vary with each institution?

    Thank you!


    • BobinOz July 7, 2015, 7:40 pm |

      This one always makes my head spin, but here’s what I think happens. Your son will be four in January 2016, the cut-off is 30th June each year, so as he will be four before 30 June 2016 he is eligible to start preschool (a voluntary first year, not full-time and hours vary from school to school) in January 2016.

      Children who are five before the cut-off date of 30th June get to start school in January of the same year, so if a child is five before 30.6.16 they start school at the beginning of the school year in January 2016.

      So from September to December this year your options would only be kindy or daycare, depending what you need. Again prices vary for that so you would have to ask around locally in Perth.

      Now I’ve got a headache again 🙂

  • Neeraj Parmar June 19, 2015, 12:37 am |

    I will be moving to australia on a 457 visa in the month of august. Will a monthly income of $2500-3000 be sufficient for me, my wife and two kids aged 12 to meet our necessities

    • BobinOz June 19, 2015, 9:45 pm |

      Where in Australia you moving to? Where are you going to live? What will your rent/mortgage be? I have to tell you, $2500 – 3000 is not very much at all, I think you might struggle.

  • odongerel April 17, 2015, 8:34 pm | from mongolia.i want to transfer to australian public high schools.can you give me information on how can i transfer and about the fees and living expenses

    • BobinOz April 18, 2015, 12:20 am |

      No, I can’t, but if you click on my main navigation menu above, Visas – Student Visas, my expert may be able to help.

  • Helen April 12, 2015, 5:22 pm |

    Bob I feel with this website you are trying very hard to make yourself feel better because clearly and despite all this UK is much better. State schools are outstanding and they don’t ‘have to’ oversubscribe themselves. Private education is excellent and you don’t have to drive 45 minutes to get there (it’s not Vic) the best private school here is two minutes away and yes they are expensive because of the cost of living. I earn four times more than I would in Australia despite paying all the taxes. UK is much more posh and standard of living is much higher here. I can go to Australia and have a luxury holiday every year if I want without feeling a single dent on my pocket and also enjoy European countries around here. Australians on the other hand cannot afford going ‘anywhere’ in the world. They find it unreasonable. Talk about technology as far as I know here we enjoy anywhere from 20 to 50 meg connection unlimited data for £5 per month whereas there people struggle ! They get limited data and hardly 2-3 meg connection which goes maximum to 15 in nonpeak hours! What else! Talk about grocery , the basic is almost the same. Weather can get horrible, by Gods grace we are enjoying tropical weather here in London! Amazing six months of summer and not that cold winter! Plus it’s good to see sad people leave and make room for happy ones (and then they come back and if they don’t their children do and that too for forever) they can’t be happy anywhere really! There is a reason why prisoners were sent to Australia in olden days and that’s because that place in everyway is disconnected from rest of the world!

    • BobinOz April 13, 2015, 1:40 am |

      Helen, please replace the lid firmly back on the glue and open all the windows in your house for at least three days.

      Do not drive or operate heavy machinery.


      • jasin March 7, 2016, 3:55 pm |

        Lol BoB , hold up Helen did have some valid points , cost of living here is not cheap …Food prices in W.A are stupid.
        As for internet well lets face it sucks , a lot of house get firbe to the node than cooper to the exchange the NbN is been cut back, at most houses will not have NbN until 2025…Lets face Bali is the choice for most holiday goers in Aussie…. Apart from that the rest is a bit over the top.

        • BobinOz March 7, 2016, 5:36 pm |

          Cost of living in the UK isn’t cheap either. I’m afraid she lost me when she claimed to earn four times as much in the UK as in Australia and that London was having tropical weather 🙂

          Helen may have had one or two valid points, but I couldn’t deal with her comment seriously given the obvious flaws.

  • Mildred February 24, 2015, 2:04 pm |

    Hi Bob!,
    I just got here in Sydney for over a month now with a 457 visa and your site is full of worthy informations especially to those who just arrived.
    I wonder if you could share a link where I could find a complete list of Catholic Schools in Sydney. I’m choosing Catholic School now, see based from what I’ve read and heard, you can pay them by installments.
    public school could slash my pocket for an upfront payment of 10k and more for two kids and right now that would be quite not a good choice hence there will be other bills to pay.

    • BobinOz February 24, 2015, 10:03 pm |

      Well Mildred, unfortunately I don’t have one. But then in the spirit of being helpful, I copied your own words above, as in “list of Catholic Schools in Sydney” and popped it straight into Google. Hit search and bam!!

      List of Catholic schools in Sydney.

      Good luck, Bob 🙂

  • Deeksha January 23, 2015, 10:51 pm |

    Hello sir,
    I am from India and my sister is currently in 8th standard CBSE school.I just want to know whether she can study in public school in Australia or not.And will any of my parent is allowed to go with her or not and did she need ILETS or not. Thanks.

    • BobinOz January 27, 2015, 3:57 pm |

      You would need visas, so I can’t answer your question, you should talk to a MARA registered migration agent.

  • dan January 6, 2015, 1:46 am |

    Hi BobinOz, happy new year! Been getting a lot of useful information from your blog 🙂

    What I understand from above is that these fees are applicable only up to year 12 right?

    What about when the child goes to University/College? Would you have rough figures for these? Might be wishful thinking and too much to ask from the Australian gov’t but College education are not anymore funded by the gov’t right?

  • sabeeh August 28, 2014, 8:34 am |

    m moving to australia on a visa 189,will get pr after 2 years..i hav a kid(2.6 yrs)and m moving with my family.kindly let me know monthly fee of public school..

    • BobinOz August 28, 2014, 9:58 pm |

      Fees vary, as explained in the article.

  • anwar ali March 16, 2014, 4:26 am |

    my son complete MBA and want to complete PHD in Australia
    suggest me pls

  • Lucy August 18, 2013, 12:29 am |

    Hadn’t even crossed my mind that I would need to pay for schooling. We are possibly moving to Adelaide and have 2 girls, 7 & 13. What should I estimate to be paying per year for them to go to school? Also how do the Aussies view home schooling? As this was something I had though about to start with until they feel settled and we have had chance to get a good look at schools. If we choose a school that isn’t our catchment could they still attend if theres space like here in UK?
    Thanks x

    • BobinOz August 19, 2013, 1:22 pm |

      Hi Lucy

      The above article pretty much explains the pricing, whether or not you qualify for free schooling in a state school depends on which visa you are coming on. See my article about school fees on the 457 visa.

      I’m not really sure how home schooling is viewed here, I haven’t looked into it, as for getting a place in a school that isn’t in your catchment, I think that would very much depend on the individual school. If you go private though, it doesn’t matter where you live.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Shirley July 3, 2013, 11:06 pm |

    I want to apply for university in Australia but to a cheap university because my father may not be able to pay the tuition unless it is a reasonable price
    but also i wanted to do work – sturdy program
    which university would you recommend?

  • Steve May 3, 2013, 2:35 pm |

    Hello Bob,

    You are doing an incredible job and making thing easier for Jolly Just Come ( JJC ) people and intender migrants with loads of answers to questions asked. Kudos. However I have been lurkring on your site almost everyday just to make things right before my moves when I came accros this very imortant aspect. I am not really cleared about this school fees of 4,500 of a thing is this amount for all foreigner irepective of what class of visa holder who are not On PR or it varies. Please can anybody or Bob please explain further on this e.g some holding 572 Visa.


    • BobinOz May 3, 2013, 9:31 pm |

      I sure can Steve, I’ve written a post about it, it’s called State School Fees for Temporary Visa Holders in Australia.

      I’m glad you asked this question, because I feel that a link to this article is well worth including at the foot of the above post, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do now.



  • Phil March 20, 2013, 9:54 am |

    Hi Bob,
    You mentioned the problem with additional fees for Temporary Visa Holders in OZ, from your topic: State School Fees for Temporary Visa Holders in Australia, by BobinOz on February 27, 2013/ in Cost of Living – Australia.
    Would these additional fees be also applied to New Zealand citizens living in OZ, with Special Category Visa (SCV)?
    I look forward to your reply.

    • BobinOz March 20, 2013, 3:43 pm |

      As far as I am aware Phil, it is just temporary 457 visa holders who are affected. You should be okay. But if you’re concerned, check with your MARA agent. Cheers!

  • Trinioz January 29, 2013, 1:01 pm |

    I can say that if I knew about NSW education fee of $4500 for each of my 3 children, before accepting a full time job here, I wouldn’t have accepted the job in the first place. Nobody told us of this fee when we moved from Queensland to NSW.

    We came to Australia (QLD) with a 457 visa, a few years go. Now that we have been in NSW for over a year, we are hit with this “surprise”.

    We are hopeful that maybe the company I work for will reimburse us. But if it doesn’t, as it wasn’t in the contract, we are bound back to my home country and with no job.

    • BobinOz January 31, 2013, 12:50 pm |

      I feel for you Trinioz, it would have been nice if somebody had mentioned this to you during the process. In my article above, I do make it clear this rough guide to fees only applies to Australian citizens and permanent residents, your comment has prompted me now to write a separate article explaining the state-by-state fees for temporary residents as it is important to be aware.

      Is it not possible for you to return back to Queensland where these fees do not apply? Probably be better than going back to your home country, wouldn’t it?

      By the way, there is an appeal process based on your financial situation, not sure how it works though. Hope things work out.


      • PR visa holder July 25, 2015, 3:37 pm |

        I just got my pr. My son is at a private boarding school. I work in my home country. I cannot relocate to australia until I find a job in Oz. My son is also on pr visa. He is 14. Do I get subsidized fees in both tuition and boarding?

        • BobinOz July 26, 2015, 9:50 pm |

          I don’t think so, but you would need to ask the school about that.

  • Dipti P Turner January 17, 2013, 3:07 pm |

    Hi i am an Indian and planning to come down to Austrailia to work.Just wantes ro kwn how much shud i estimate for my 7 1/2 yr son.Please help me guide me.

    • BobinOz January 19, 2013, 12:12 am |

      As the article says, school fees vary quite a bit depending on what kind of school you choose to send your son. It does also very much depend on what kind of visa you will be here on as to whether you qualify for free state schooling or not.

      • jaynil sheth September 22, 2015, 3:39 pm |

        sir right now m living in india
        i want to come for std 11 n 12
        or a
        diploma automobileee

        which school is better for these
        and what a rent for living……..

        plzzz can any school hostal number send me

  • Anya July 27, 2012, 3:17 pm |

    Thank you for the input Kathleen and BobinOz!

  • Kathleen Fraser July 19, 2012, 5:41 pm |

    P.S. To answer your question about what schools need to register your kids, you will have to provide them with copies of your children’s passports, their Australian visas, and in our case, we had to prove that we resided in the catchment of the school that our kids are attending (you don’t always have to provide this last document, depends on the school that you choose).

    • BobinOz July 20, 2012, 1:12 am |

      Yes, I think the question you need to have answered Anya, is are your children entitled to go to a state school education here in Australia.

      I don’t know the answer to that, depends on the terms of your visa, maybe student visas don’t qualify? But if they are entitled, go that route, there’s nothing wrong with state education in most schools here in Australia.

  • Kathleen Fraser July 19, 2012, 5:39 pm |

    Hi there Anya,

    I am currently living in QLD on a 457 visa (I’m Canadian) and I have 2 children in primary school. I do not pay any extra fees for my children to attend school; it is a condition of our Visa that we can attend school or work, and we pay taxes in Australia as my husband has a full-time job here.

    I would recommend checking the terms of your Visa (if it is granted by the government) to see what rights/privileges your family will have if you live here temporarily. Also, you could contact the Department of Education (Queensland state government) to confirm your costs (if any) after your Visa is granted. They will likely need to know what type of Visa you and your kids have before they could answer questions about costs.

    Good luck!

  • Anya July 19, 2012, 5:30 pm |

    Hello, I was recently accepted to an MBBS program at the University of Queensland. I will be applying for a student visa from the United States ( i am a US citizen). I will be staying in Australia for two years (2013-2015). I have two school aged children that would need to attend primary school in Australia. I was told that I would have to pay AUD $8835.00 a year for each child to attend public school in Queensland and approximately AUD $1300 in additional costs per year. I can’t afford to pay over AUD $18,000 for my children’s school fees when I will be living off of student loans… how does this make sense? Is there any way to get around this? Do schools usually ask parents for immigration status when they do enrollments? Any form of advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

  • Ken July 10, 2012, 12:23 am |

    I will go to abroad in Australia in next year but i don’t know how many money i will use in there (one year)
    Could you help me?
    Thank you!

    • BobinOz July 10, 2012, 12:28 pm |

      How can I, I have no idea what you will be buying?

  • Eliza May 30, 2012, 6:09 am |

    If I was in Brisbane (from the UK) on a holiday visa for 8 weeks and wanted my 5 children to have some sort of education for this period of time, what would you advise? Private schooling for 8 weeks, or would a government funded school accept them (as foreign students) for some sort of financial contribution? What do you think?
    Kind Regards

    • BobinOz May 30, 2012, 9:28 pm |

      I’m only guessing here, but I think you might struggle with both of these options. A government funded school would need to see your centrelink number, but you won’t have one. Only residents get those.

      I’m not sure how private schools work, but they are normally full for each new term, so may not be able to fit you in even if they technically can take your children. That’s all I know, maybe somebody else reading this can help.


  • BNR April 1, 2012, 7:41 pm |

    I am a citizen of New Zealand, planning to move to Melbourne, is it possible for us to only pay the domestic student fee for my child who is in Year 8. Will the government cover any of the fee costs

    • BobinOz April 2, 2012, 9:09 pm |

      Not sure on that one, are you talking about state school education? We don’t pay for that up here in Brisbane, other than the odd small contribution.

    • New to Oz April 17, 2012, 11:05 pm |

      Victoria (the state where Melbourne is located) does not charge fees to temporary residents (e.g. 457 visa holders), unlike NSW and ACT. So you shouldn’t have to pay any fees beyond the standard “essential item costs” and “voluntary” contributions that everyone is asked to pay.

      • BobinOz April 18, 2012, 2:41 pm |

        Interesting. So QLD and VIC are OK, NSW & ACT not.

        Anyone know about the others?

  • Kathleen Fraser December 22, 2011, 11:13 am |

    I was told NSW and ACT are the only two states that charge 457 Visa holders school fees. I think it’s around $4500 for NSW and slightly more for ACT. There are definitely no extra fees in QLD.

    • BobinOz December 23, 2011, 3:39 pm |

      Thanks Kathleen!

      There’s your answer tv, (comment a few above this one) move out of NSW. Brisbane is nice.

  • Kathleen Fraser December 20, 2011, 4:42 pm |

    Hi again,

    I did a bit more research. And, here is a link re: LAFHA changes.

    It says that LAFHA could be phased out for all current and incoming overseas workers by July 2012. But, the statutory changes have not been passed yet. The government is still consulting re: these changes. Make your opinion heard now if you have one. 🙂


    • BobinOz December 21, 2011, 9:49 pm |

      Thanks for the extra info Kathleen, it still looks like a New South Wales thing to me, can anyone confirm that? I notice the law hasn’t been passed yet, it’s one to keep an eye on.

      I’ll try to find out more and do a post on it.



  • Kathleen Fraser December 20, 2011, 4:34 pm |

    Hi there,

    Our family is currently living in QLD (Brisbane) under a 457 work visa. We do not pay additional school fees at the state school our kids attend; we were told that this fee is not added in QLD.

    Also, we had heard rumours that the LAFHA was going to be “gone” but we have also heard that private companies who need skilled labour from overseas are fighting this proposal, and that it might not be “gone” or at least phased out with new 457 Visas issued (but remain for those of us already here on the 457).


  • tv December 19, 2011, 6:38 pm |

    Important update:

    The LAFHA is going away.
    The Government claims it is to “level the playing fields between temporary and permanent residents.”

    Obviously they’re completely ignoring that temporary residents don’t have family tax benefit, social benefits, child care reductions in taxes AND that we have to pay $4.500 for public schooling per child.

    But like the OZ prime minister once said, you’re free to leave, which is exactly what we’ll do.

    • BobinOz December 20, 2011, 12:59 am |

      Hi tv

      Well I don’t know much about this LAFHA thing, except that it stands for Living Away From Home Allowance. I assume you have to pay this yearly school fee because you are not a permanent resident of Australia? Is that correct?

      Is it also something that only happens in New South Wales?

  • nikhil December 19, 2011, 6:10 pm |

    i am coming in australia &find the best school

    • BobinOz December 20, 2011, 12:52 am |

      Great! Let us know when you find it.

      • Vikash June 11, 2013, 4:10 pm |

        Hi Bob,

        We are planning to move to AUS in next five months with a two and a half years kid. You mentioned about items like school uniform, stationery, etc. which have to be bought by parents and which are not free in schools here. Can you tell me what is the rough average cost of these items for a primary school kid?

        • BobinOz June 11, 2013, 8:07 pm |

          Well, it depends on the school, but I think you’re looking at around $200-$300 roughly speaking.

  • Melinda October 26, 2011, 8:24 pm |

    Thank you for this. Well, I am actually doing it the other way around, my son and I are leaving for England on the 11th of December. So it is good to be able to get an idea of the financial differences in education between the two countries. Especially since it’s from someone who has experience in both countries. My son has really enjoyed his first year (kindergarten) of school, so I’m hoping that he settles in to whichever school he goes to when we are in England.

    I will still be reading your blog, I enjoy it and it is great to read your thoughts on everything. 🙂

    • BobinOz November 4, 2011, 6:02 pm |

      Thanks Melinda, glad you enjoy reading my blog. I hope you and your young son settle in England, it will be interesting to hear how you think it compares to Australia. So if you get the time to let us know 🙂

  • Eric October 25, 2011, 5:43 pm |

    We don’t have to worry about this in the state because we have public education. The
    cost of living by state would be more if this was the case. A lot of folks seems to think goverment voutures what be a good way to get our kids out of publics schools and into quality private schools but that would take money out our governments pocket because in the end nothing is for free when you are paying through tax dollars

    • BobinOz November 4, 2011, 6:00 pm |

      Thanks for that Eric, but just to clear up, we do have public education here too.

  • Murshed September 1, 2011, 12:42 pm |

    Hi there

    Just wanted to know is there any major differences in terms of educational quality between private schools and public schools in Australia

    • BobinOz September 3, 2011, 3:21 pm |

      Personally, I don’t think so. But all schools whether private or public vary in quality of their standards. But there is a way of finding out how good (or bad) each school is. Click on my link above in the menu called Migration Advice, and then go to the page about schools.

      There’s the video there that explains everything.

  • Edwin June 25, 2011, 10:51 am |

    Thanks Bob for your quick reply. I am not after financial help from you bob. It is more on giving us assistance how can my daughter get there in Australia to study and work at the same time surely. Dont worry about the financial side, it is more on the concrete procedures, right school and right place for my daughter. Thanks a lot.

    • BobinOz June 28, 2011, 2:38 pm |

      Hi Edwin

      I did not think for one minute you were looking for financial assistance. What I am saying is I am not qualified to help you with choosing the right school or the procedures required to pursue a Masters degree here in Australia.

      Have you had a look around my migration advice page? You may find some help there.

  • Edwin June 24, 2011, 4:21 pm |

    thanks a lot.

    • BobinOz June 24, 2011, 10:15 pm |

      Hi Edwin

      I’d love to help, but it’s just not what I do. I simply write about life in Australia. Thanks!


      • reena September 21, 2013, 5:08 pm |

        Hi this is reena from bangalore working as a HR in a law office i have got an job opportunity in aust in an car show room vr as iam worried about my children studies in bangalore their kind of studies are different they r into ICSE stu and even iam worried about the fees structure am the sole owner of my family i stay alone vth my children so pls suggest me the school fees of 8th std and the 4rth stds

        • BobinOz September 22, 2013, 9:29 pm |

          That’s exactly what I have done in the article above, I can’t explain it any better than that.

  • Edwin June 24, 2011, 4:21 pm |

    I got a daughter who just graduated with a degree of nursing.
    She wanted to pursue masteral degree in Australia preferably in catholic university or public colleges. Will you help us to fulfill her intention. By the way we are from the Philippines.

  • BobinOz April 20, 2011, 4:19 pm |

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Nicky. We considered private school for Elizabeth, but when we saw how good the local school was, we soon change our minds. It’s 5 minutes up the road instead of 45 min round trip by car, which also means that Elizabeth can have play dates after school with all her local friends. Which she does several times a week.

    That wouldn’t happen so easily when you choose a school outside of your local area.

    As for the education she gets at that school, we can’t fault it. And yes, the kids are so happy and smiley there. What more could you want?

  • Nicky April 19, 2011, 6:53 pm |

    Save your money for weekend trips and fun.
    Choose a state school based on how many happy faces leave the classroom at the end of the day and how many happy faces are waiting to greet them on the playground.
    Pay for tutors to top up any weaker areas when your child is older. The cost will be lower, the help will be more focussed and you’ll sleep much better knowing you have a very happy child x

  • tv April 18, 2011, 7:34 am |


    We’re moving to Australia with three kids on a 457 visa.
    I’m trying to figure out what fees we would have to pay for the two oldest (8 and 10), and if the fees are tax deductible.

    Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

    • BobinOz April 19, 2011, 12:35 am |

      Hi tv
      Everything I know about school fees is in the post. Every school sets its own fee structure, so I can’t give you any more accurate details than that.

      But I’m pretty sure the fees are tax-deductible, so that will help. But do remember that many of the state run schools are also very good and you don’t have to pay for those. Apart from buying a few books etc.

    • tv June 24, 2011, 4:52 pm |

      I have now managed to get some more info on the matter.
      In NSW the school fee is 4.500/child/year.
      If you’re eligible for LAFHA you can deduct the total cost for schooling from your gross pay.

      • BobinOz June 24, 2011, 10:24 pm |

        Glad you sorted it out and thanks for coming back and letting us know. Always good to have the information.


  • BobinOz January 17, 2011, 1:10 am |

    Yes, but it won’t be a lot.depends on which school your children go to, so if you have a choice of schools, just ask them what contributions payments you’ll need to make.

    Obviously you’ll need to buy uniforms and PE kit, that sort of thing, but additionally stationary, perhaps contributions to computers, maybe pay for music lessons, swimming, that sort of thing.

    As I have said, you could pay as little as $60 a year or as much as $1000. It depends on the school. Just ask.

  • kirsty January 16, 2011, 7:15 am |

    If I am on a student 572 visa will I have to pay for my children to attend public school?
    Just trying to work out figures and stuff before I go ahead 🙂


    Kirsty (UK)

  • BobinOz March 1, 2010, 5:57 pm |

    Hi Waleed

    That’s a good question and also a timely reminder for me. A long while ago I promised to do a comparison of education levels between the UK and Australia. It has kind of slipped the net. So I will be looking into that, but it may take a fair bit of research.

    Expect it to be the subject of a post on this blog before the end of the month.



  • waleed February 27, 2010, 8:42 am |

    here in the UK during year 10 and 11 (secoundry school) we take GCSE examination. 62.4% get A*-C Grades (college only accepts you if you have A* TO C) With 20% GETTING A*/A.
    i would like to know whats the equivalent in australia and percentage.

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